Deaths from coronavirus in Spain have more than doubled in a day to 288, with infections at nearly 8,000, authorities in the country said. 

Spain has recorded 2,000 new virus cases and more than 100 deaths in 24 hours as the country moves to try and tackle the spread. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Spain to close borders as Covid-19 cases rise by 1,500 in a day 

Europe is currently the main front line in the fight against Covid-19.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has used a national address to detail the exceptional measures that will be put in place as part of a two-week state of emergency to fight the country’s sharp rise in infections.

In Barcelona, people who ventured out on quiet streets to buy bread at one bakery formed long lines with a metre (about three feet) between each person as recommended by authorities to reduce the risk of contagion.

Police patrolled parks and told people who were not taking their dog on a quick walk to go home.

READ MORE:  Coronavirus: Italy, Spain Turkey and France introduce fresh restrictions in bid to slow virus spread across Europe

On Saturday, Spain’s government said Mr Sanchez’s wife Begona Gomez tested positive for Covid-19.

Both are in good health, the government said.

The country has now implemented a national lockdown similar to the one already imposed in Italy.

People are only allowed to leave their homes to buy food and medicine, commute to work, go to hospitals and banks, or take trips to care for the young and elderly.

All schools and universities are closed, along with restaurants, bars, hotels and other non-essential retail businesses.